For 27 weeks, Brittany Mullins pregnancy had gone perfectly. No signs of trouble—just smooth sailing for her and husband, Chance, as they eagerly awaited the coming birth of their first child, Asher, a boy, in the Gallipolis, Ohio, area.
But then, a sudden increase in the size of Brittany’s baby bump and pre-term contractions sent the concerned parents to the hospital.
“We got an ultrasound and found out there was fluid on his abdomen,” said Brittany. “We weren’t sure what was wrong. There were a lot of scary diagnoses.”
Four short weeks later, the extra fluid caused Asher to be born prematurely at 31 weeks. He lived his first four weeks of life at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, before being transferred to the NICU at Riverside Methodist Hospital.
“He was diagnosed with a posterior urethral valve, which meant urine wasn’t draining correctly, causing the fluid on his abdomen,” said Brittany. “He had surgery at one month old and his prognosis is good.”
Brittany said it was the Ronald McDonald House and the Ronald McDonald Family Room that kept her and her family going during the tough time.
“I couldn’t imagine driving two hours back and forth to see him,” said Brittany of the House for Asher’s first four weeks at Nationwide Children’s. “It was so helpful to have a place to shower and eat. Plus, I have an immune disorder so I have a specific diet. And the family kitchens helped keep me from getting sick while I was there.”
When Asher was transferred to Riverside to a bed for more critical babies, it was the new Family Room that helped her and her family.
“Having the family room allowed me to move in with Asher and breastfeed him,” said Brittany. “It’s allowed me to stay here and have a shower and eat. It’s been such a blessing to us.”
Brittany said it’s the little things that the Ronald McDonald House and Family Room offer that keep families going.
“When your baby is in the NICU, fighting for his life, you forget the little things,” said Brittany. “And to have people there supporting you and making it available to just be clean and to eat makes a difference. It made all the difference in his care and his discharge time.”
Brittany has just one thing to say to all the donors who made the Ronald McDonald Family Room possible: “You have changed lives by making the Family Room available. It is of the utmost importance in our lives that we can express to them how thankful we are.”
I was first introduced to Nationwide Children’s in my clinical as a nursing student. Through my experiences in the hospital I learned very quickly how much the Ronald McDonald house does for the patient with 5 appointments in one day, the confused sibling, and the exhausted parent who’s just trying to keep up with it all. Seeing first hand from the nurse’s point of view how much the house does for families in need encouraged me to get involved. I will continue working at the RMHC, however, because of the infectious positivity that surrounds the people who run it. Every volunteer and employee here is an integral part of why the house is so effective in helping these families and I am so glad to be given the chance to be a part of it!
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio is excited to offer a brand new event for you and your little ones!
Pirates & Princesses is a swashbuckling good time for young children ages 10 and under to “walk the plank,” enjoy a photo booth, treasure hunt, kiss a frog (not a real one…ewww!), play Magic Wand Toss or Dig for Buried Treasure, and dress like pirates and princesses for a day in the Ivory Room of Miranova.
And, bonus—valet parking for the event is FREE!
You and your child (or children!) can come anytime between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Sunday, June 11. Stay as long as you like for additional activities including, face painting, tattoos, Pin-the-Kiss on the frog, a fishing game, craft corner, tiara making, tea cup decorating, a dance floor, and a movie-viewing area.
Upgrade you and your little one to V.I.P. tickets (that’s Very Important Princess or Very Important Pirate!) to include pirate or princess training, hair and make-up studio, and a super cool Treasure Hunt.
An online auction will also be available as is a dress shopping area for you and your littlest princess, housing the finest gear royalty could ever dream.
Parents and their little ones will enjoy Cameron Mitchell catering that will make even the simplest kid’s cuisine a culinary delight fit for a pirate and princess!
The very best part of the whole event is that money raised, even from ticket sales, benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, serving families with seriously ill children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other area hospitals. Money donated to our organization, including through events like Pirates & Princesses, allows us to provide a home for families whose children are going through a medical difficulty.
And if you want to go one step further for our organization, after buying your ticket to the event, sponsor a family at the House to come to the party, too! You’ll see first-hand how your generosity is changing lives at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House.
Thank you for your continued support!
What is better than golf? This is #mywhy. Golfing for a cause. I love fundraising for the RMHC of Central Ohio through the Joe Mortellaro Junior Golf! As I begin fundraising for my third junior golf outing, I think about how lucky I am that I have been able to raise thousands of dollars for those families that need to use the house. I have been the top fundraiser the past two years, and have enjoyed not only the junior outing, but the Joe Mortellaro Golf Classic where I have met two of my favorite coaches: Urban Meyer and Thad Matta. My parents even let me bid on some items at the silent auction! Getting to golf through this outing allows me to help the house while I get to enjoy my favorite sport.
In the past three years, I have putted for change outside a local store, sent letters to area businesses, family and friends, and of course, put in my own money. Why have I done this? My answer is because it matters. There are families that need to use RMHC to remain close to their children, and they should not have to worry about where they are going to stay. It doesn’t matter that I am only 9-years-old. My efforts are as needed as my parents or even strangers. We can all give our time, services or money to help RMHC of Central Ohio. Throughout the year, I also collect pop tabs, have purchased items off the wishlist, and gave money for an organization to make a meal. There are lots of ways people can make a difference at RMHC.
Although I hope I raise the most money in fundraising again this year, I know whatever amount I am able to raise will make a big difference to RMHC of Central Ohio. Please consider donating your time or money today!
~ Written By Junior Golfer Griffin Beach
Meika (a staff member) asked me why I like volunteering for Ronald McDonald House. She wanted me to write something down and share with everyone. Well, I’ve been putting it off because I didn’t know the exact words to say but today was my turning point. I saw a young woman today who was crying over losing her child. Everyone in the office was hugging her, talking to her, trying to console her the best way they knew how. That’s what this House is all about. It exudes love and compassion for these families and their children. I saw this on day one when my friend Jean (God rest her soul) brought me to the House to see if I would like it here. She had me hooked at day one! The brave little people here are so special to me. One day, for example, a little girl came up to me and said, “I had a heart transplant,” and showed me her scar. She said, “I had to come today for tests and had to lay still for lots of hours.” My heart melted for her. I told her how brave I thought she was and she smiled that big smile. She is just one of the precious moments that I have shared here. The good Lord knows why He sent me here. I cherish every day. I love you all. The tears have been rolling steady since I started this letter. So, I think you will all get my message.
Love to all, Chris Hicks